James W. Bodman ’62
B.A., Denison University
M.B.A., University of Chicago
United States Army, 1964-1967
Citation awarded June, 2011
Jim joined Vienna Beef in 1967 and is currently the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. The company’s history has its roots in the Columbian Exposition of 1893 and is today a world recognized manufacturer of premium beef products, pickles and soups. All of these products are available worldwide in grocery stores, restaurants, sport stadiums, club stores, delis and hot dog stands.
Vienna’s 500 employees enjoy the recognition of being an iconic Chicago food company. Factories in Chicago, Michigan, Florida, and California further the company’s national exposure.
Through all the expansion strategies, Jim has never wavered from his original commitment to keep company true to its roots. The quality of the products is never compromised. The staff at every level is respected for the work they do. His philosophy of leadership prompts him to hire people “more talented” than himself, give them goals and leave them alone. The result is a vertical structure with a horizontal feel and employees at every level who fee valued and proud of what they do.
Additionally, Jim serves on several corporate boards. For Denison, he served on the Board of Trustees from 1986-92, has been a steady volunteer for Fellows and President’s Associates fundraising efforts and member of several reunion committees including his 50th. He hosted the Organizational Studies students in Chicago for a popular and productive field trip.